Harper's Bazaar invited me to cover the Families Belong Together March in Washington, DC this weekend with a focus on children and families. I joined more than 30,000 protesters gathered in the 100 degree heat for a rally in Lafayette Park across from the White House and march to the Department of Justice. You can check out the full feature HERE.
I sought out parents with their children, kids in trees, and teenagers on the brink of being able to vote and asked each why they were protesting before taking their photograph. Many reflected feeling moved to protest because they could easily imagine themselves in the position immigrant families are in if their own circumstances were different. We work hard, imagine futures for our children, invest in our communities hoping they hold us safe. But the immigrants hoping to make that life are often deterred by threats of gang violence, poverty, or civil unrest. They come here so they can. Our immigration laws do not make it easy for those in need to seek refuge, and increasingly, even when they enter the US legally are not granted asylum as promised. I can't imagine the desperation of fleeing my home, family, and community to try to give myself or my children a better life, only to be turned away. The folks I interviewed related to immigrants' dreams. They wept at the thought of their own children being torn from their arms, and vowed to fight to protect the rights of families to stay together and move to this country - one built on immigration - to build a better life for themselves.